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Rory Dall

Ruaidhrí Dall Ó Catháin

The definitive biography of the Irish Rory Dall is by Colm O Baoill. The essay details all that is known about his life, as well as listing titles and sources for all the tunes attributed to him. First published in 1970 (as part of ‘Some Irish Harpers in Scotland’ Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness 47, 1970-72), it was revised in 2007 and occupies half a chapter (10 pages) in a weighty academic book about 17th century Scottish music, Defining Strains edited by James Porter.
Purchasing information at the Emporium

Recordings of the Irish Rory Dall’s music, played on historical Gaelic harp replicas with metal wire strings, using historical playing techniques and styles, can be heard on various CDs by Ann Heymann, Siobhán Armstrong, Simon Chadwick and others. You can find more details and purchasing information at the Emporium.

Ruaidhri Dall Mac Mhuirich

For the Scottish Rory Dall’s life and music, the authoritative work is William Matheson’s book The Blind Harper - the songs of Roderick Morison and his music, Scottish Gaelic Texts Society, 1970. This book includes all of his poems and songs in Gaelic and also English translation, a full biography, as well as copious background information on the sources and traditions. The section on the song airs and instrumental music is not entirely reliable - see my Rory Dall Tune List for more up-to-date opinions!
Purchasing information at the Emporium

Two of his songs, Creach na Ciadaoin and Oran do MhacLeòid Dhùn Bheagain can be heard, sung unaccompanied, on William Matheson's double CD Gaelic Bards and Minstrels, Scottish Tradition 16.
Purchasing information at the Emporium.

I put a recording of Oran do Iain Breac Mac Leòid sung with historical Gaelic harp accompaniment on my 2012 CD Old Gaelic Laments but it’s not a very good performance! I don’t know of any other recordings of Rory Dall’s songs with Gaelic harp accompaniment.